Xbox Live Gold Games For October 2020: Get 3 Games For Free Right Now

The Xbox Games With Gold for the month of October are timely and spooky, with Halloween-appropriate games leading the charge. These games are available for all Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass Ultimate members as long as they’re subscribers.

The first free game this month is the delightfully-named Slayaway Camp: Butcher’s Cut, a campy ’80s throwback where you play as a villain named Skullface as you try to terrify the camp counselors and guests in each of its isometric puzzles. It’s available for the whole month of October. The second is Maid of Sker, a short-but-sweet British horror game in a similar vein as Amnesia and Resident Evil 7 that’s available from today until November 15.

Thanks to the Xbox One’s backwards-compatibility–or if you’re still playing on an Xbox 360–you can check out Costume Quest starting today. Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy was available earlier this month, but its availability has expired.

Xbox Game Pass will also add three new games in October, including Doom Eternal, so check that out too.

Xbox Games With Gold For October 2020

  • Slayaway Camp: Butcher’s Cut: Available October 1 to 31 (Xbox One)
  • Maid of Sker: Available October 16 to November 15 (Xbox One)
  • Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy: Available October 1 to 15 (Xbox One, Xbox 360)
  • Costume Quest: Available October 16 to 31 (Xbox One, Xbox 360)

The Best Deals And Sales This Week

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  • + Show More The Best Deals And Sales This Week Links (2)
  • PS4 Halloween Sale Is Live Now, Includes Resident Evil 2, Days Gone, And More
  • GameStop Pro Day Sale Is Live Now: FF7 Remake For $39, B2G1 Free Funko Pops, And More

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You can now stream Xbox games to your iPhone

You can now stream Xbox games to your iPhone! Does this mean that Apple has loosened its App Store restrictions that all but prohibit any sort of game streaming service? Unfortunately, no. Rather, an update to the Xbox app allows gamers to connect to and stream from their own home Xbox. 

It’s a great new feature, but it’s not really cloud gaming.

Updated 10/20/20: The new Xbox app is now available on the App Store, enabling remote play from your own Xbox console.

xCloud versus home streaming

Microsoft’s xCloud gaming service, part of its Game Pass Ultimate subscription, lets users stream over 100 games directly from Microsoft’s cloud servers. This reduces latency and lets customers play games without having to download and install them first. It also doesn’t tie up your Xbox hardware; another player can use that while you stream from the cloud, allowing couch co-op play for games that are really only made for online co-op, or two different games to be played at once.

What has been enabled in the new Xbox app is technically a “virtual desktop”—which is how it is allowed by Apple’s rules for the App Store. You’ll connect to the actual Xbox you own, over the same network or the internet. Your Xbox will run as it usually does (only without the startup chime or light), compress its output into a video feed, and send it to your iPhone.

You’ll see the entire Xbox home screen experience just as if you were using your Xbox. It’s as if your iPhone is a wireless monitor for your own personal Xbox. If you want to play a game you don’t have installed, you’ll have to first wait for it to download to your Xbox. And your Xbox will be “occupied” while you play remotely, preventing others in your home from using it to play their own games or use streaming services. But at least your TV won’t be tied up! It’s exactly the way the PS4 Remote Play app works.

The new Xbox app features a host of other improvements, including better speed and a refreshed design. 

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Xbox Releasing Two Next-Gen Consoles At The Same Time Is A Bad Idea

Many have praised Xbox for releasing two different consoles at the same time, but for a number of reasons, it could end up backfiring in a major way.

Both PlayStation and Xbox will release two consoles each when the next generation officially kicks off next month. Gamers who want a PS5 will have a choice between a regular console or a digital version that comes without a disc drive. Xbox has taken a different approach. It will release the regular Series X and the far cheaper but also less powerful Series S.

On the surface, that looks like a pretty terrific idea. $299 for a next-gen console is an absolute steal. Perfect for younger or casual gamers who don’t care as much about native 4K and don’t need a whole 1 TB of storage. However, releasing the consoles at the same time rather than having a staggered release could prove to be more problematic than it seems.

Introducing both consoles at the same time could prove to be confusing for customers, and create more work for developers. The difference in specs between the Series X and the Series S may mean teams have to create to different versions of the same game. An alternative but equally as unfavorable solution could see developers scale back on games so that they can be played on both consoles rather than doubling their workload. Phil Spencer has even admitted devs will need to work harder to create games for both consoles.

Back to the confusion for potential consumers, and there has clearly already been mix-ups for some due to the similarity between the Series X and One X’s names. The latter saw a spike in sales when pre-orders for the Series X went live, which almost definitely means people were buying them by accident. Add the Series S into the mix and chances are a lot of kids will be unwrapping a console they didn’t ask for this holiday season.

Speaking of which, while the gulf in price is obviously a good thing for gamers with less to spend, it also adds to the problem of people potentially buying the wrong console. Those who know very little, or are buying the console for someone else might pick the Series S just because it’s the cheaper option, not realizing how different it is from the Series X. Time will tell whether this is a practice that is in place for generations to come, but our guess is that it almost definitely won’t be.

NEXT: Fortnite Is Getting Ghostbusters Skins

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Josh has been gaming for as long as he can remember. That love began with a mild childhood addiction to the Sega Genesis, or Mega Drive since he lives in the UK. Back then, Sonic 2 quickly became his favorite game and as you might have guessed from his picture, the franchise has remained close to his heart ever since. Nowadays, he splits his time between his PS4 and his Switch and spends far too much time playing Fortnite. If you’re a fan of gaming, wrestling, and soccer, give him a follow on Twitter @BristolBeadz.

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Xbox Series X Preview – Leaving Current-Gen In The Dust

If you read my initial impressions on Xbox Series X, you know that even spending a small amount of time with the next-generation Xbox console sold me on upgrading through its speed alone. The effortless and efficient nature in which it loads my Xbox One, Xbox 360, and original Xbox games amazes me to this day, and puts my Xbox One X, the current most-powerful gaming console on the market, to shame. Now that I’ve spent more time with the system, and checked out some actual next-gen content on the console, I wanted to give a brief update on my experience.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve continued putting the Xbox Series X through its paces using my existing backward-compatible library. While I already spoke in-depth about the load times, I’m continually impressed by how fast I’m able to not only get into games, but swap between them. The Quick Resume feature is astoundingly helpful, even allowing me to pick up a suspended session after I unplugged the console. That’s right: After moving the console between the Game Informer office and my house, I was able to plug the Xbox Series X into my system and immediately pick right back up where I left off using Quick Resume. 

The performance of current-gen and older games is impressive. However, the true test of the system is in how fast it loads experiences created for it. Using software provided by developers and Xbox, I tested a few different next-gen titles. While these builds aren’t final (nor is the Xbox Series X user interface), I wanted to give an idea of how long players can expect to wait to get into a next-gen game. Some games, like Gears 5 and Yakuza: Like a Dragon, are extremely impressive in how quick they load into the world, but I was somewhat disappointed by others, like Dirt 5 and Gears Tactics; I guess I was expecting a bit faster. Check out the list of next-gen software I tested below.

  • Dirt 5 – Loads into a Career mode race in 17.82 seconds
  • Gears 5 – Loads into the open area of North Tyrus in 10.29 seconds
  • Gears Tactics – Loads into a mission in 17.91 seconds
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon – Loads into the world in 4.71 seconds

My experience with the controller also continues to be good. I like how the grip feels in my hands, and I’ve enjoyed using the Share button to take instant screenshots and gameplay captures without backing into menus. I mentioned this before, but I’m still really impressed by the d-pad; it not only has a great click, but it also feels much more precise and conducive to 2D gameplay than the hybrid appearance would have you believe. 

On top of all this, I’m enjoying the experience outside of the games with the Series X. Navigating through the (non-final) menus is super smooth. You can really tell how much consoles benefit from the upgraded hardware. Xbox also sent along an official Storage Expansion Card, which plugs into the back of the system. As far as I can tell, games installed to this storage card behave nearly identically to games installed on the internal storage. The price is pretty steep ($220), but it feels like a must-purchase item if you feel like you’ll blow through the internal storage with the games you hope to install. Hopefully, other companies can provide less expensive solutions that deliver similar performance down the road.

While this can’t be considered a review since the interface and software isn’t final, I’m still very much impressed by the overall experience the Xbox Series X delivers. With my thoughts on Xbox’s new console all but solidified to this point, I eagerly await getting my hands on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S to see just how it all stacks up to this powerhouse.

For more on Xbox Series X, check out our New Gameplay Today and my hands-on impressions of the Xbox Series X controller. You can also read more about the console’s backward compatible games perform on Xbox Series X compared to how those games run on an Xbox One X here. For some of my next-gen game impressions, check out my hands-on previews of Dirt 5 and Yakuza: Like a Dragon.

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Why Xbox Game Pass is the best deal in PC gaming

When I say an Xbox Game Pass for PC subscriptionRemove non-product link is the best deal in gaming today, that’s no idle recommendation. I have a deep-seated hatred of today’s subscription culture. Yes, many streaming and subscription services are worth every penny, but in general, I hate that everything from Microsoft Office to Adobe’s Creative Cloud to freaking underwear tries to tie you up with monthly payments. So when I say Game Pass is worth it, I really mean it. Step aside, Humble Bundles.

At first, I actually refused to pony up for Xbox Game Pass for PC, because again, I’ve had just about enough of subscriptions. But I succumbed to its siren song when Obsidian’s The Outer Worlds debuted, thanks to its day-one inclusion on the service. The service’s hooks sunk deeply and quickly. Paying a mere $5 a month for access to over a hundred games during the beta period was a ludicrously good value, and it remains so even at the full $10 price. Now, Xbox Game Pass for PC is just as much of a mainstay in my house as Spotify and Netflix. I can’t see ever letting my subscription lapse.

Here are five reasons why:

1. Day-one access to Microsoft games

The superb Gears Tactics costs $60, but it was on Xbox Game Pass for PC on day one.

Historically, most gaming subscription services offered access only to ancient games that you’ve probably played before. Microsoft’s first-party exclusives come to Xbox Game Pass for PC the day they release, meaning Xbox Game Pass for PC members can start playing new titles in the Halo, Forza, and Gears franchises immediately, among others. More specific to PC gamers, Microsoft now owns Obsidian and InXile studios, two of the most celebrated developers of modern CRPGs, so you can dive into The Outer Worlds and the hotly anticipated Wasteland 3 as part of your subscription.

Xbox Game Pass for PC also includes hot games from other developers, like Yakuza 0, Ark: Survival Evolved, No Man’s Sky, and Metro: Exodus. Its stockpile of big-budget games from other publishers isn’t nearly as deep as its first party selection, but that’s mitigated by my next point. You can see the full list of Xbox Games Pass for PC titles here. As I write this, it stands at a whopping 193 games.

It’s going to get even deeper soon. Later this year, EA will bring its EA Play (formerly Origin Access) subscription games to Xbox Game Pass at no extra cost. Microsoft says it will add “More than 60 of EA’s biggest and best console and PC games like FIFA 20, Titanfall 2 and Need for Speed Heat, as well as titles from some of EA’s most popular franchises like Battlefield, Mass Effect, Skate, and The Sims,” along with extended trials for newer games like Madden 21.

2. Abundant, excellent indie games

Excellent indie games like Frostpunk abound on Xbox Game Pass for PC.

For PC gamers who like deep cuts, Xbox Game Pass for PC offers an incredible selection of critically acclaimed indie games, spanning a wide variety of genres. If you like giving quirky new games a whirl or don’t feel comfortable paying full price for games from lesser-known studios, Xbox Game Pass for PC is your answer. (Seriously: Go play A Plague Tale: Innocence, Frostpunk, Slay the Spire, and Dead Cells if you haven’t already!)

The vast selection of indie games makes Xbox Game Pass for PC much more appealing in my eyes than rival subscription gaming services like EA’s Origin Access or Ubisoft’s Uplay+, whose libraries tend to include only games from those specific developers. Microsoft’s subscription offers a wider range of games, though Origin’s plan also includes a nice indie selection.

3. New (good!) games are added regularly

Xbox Game Pass for PC adds games regularly and puts new releases front and center.

There’s always something fresh to play on Xbox Game Pass for PC. New games are added all the time. The curated selection ensures they’ll always be good games—even indie titles you haven’t heard of before are worth playing.

In the past month alone, Observation, Minecraft Dungeons, Alan Wake, Cities: Skylines, Dungeon of the Endless, Battletech, No Man’s Sky, and The Bard’s Tale Remastered are just some of the new games that landed on the service. They’re all great, and collectively offer hundreds upon hundreds of hours of gaming fun before you even start digging deeper into the backlog.

Third-party games don’t tend to arrive on Xbox Game Pass for PC until they’ve been out for a while, so if you’re the sort of gamer who needs to play the new hotness now, the service holds slightly less appeal. That said, it’s a great way to play lesser-known titles you might not be inclined to pay full price for. Just be aware that games can shift back out of Xbox Game Pass for PC support as well—similar to how shows dip in and out of Netflix—so don’t wait too long to get around to an intriguing-looking game

4. Free Spotify and more

Microsoft throws in some nice extra perks as part of your Xbox Game Pass for PC subscription. Right now, you can claim six free months of Spotify Premium, along with free goodies for online games like Warframe, World of Tanks, Phantasy Star Online 2, and Smite.

You can also save 10 percent on any games you decide to buy that are part of Xbox Game Pass for PC. That’s not very enticing when you can play a game as part of your subscription, but it’s a great deal when it comes to DLC packs and other add-ons (and it’s especially useful when a game you love exits the service). Be aware that those DLC packs are tied to the Microsoft Store version of the game, so they won’t necessarily carry over to Steam or other PC platforms.

5. Games actually work

Finally, the games install and play without any headaches. This shouldn’t be a big plus, but when it comes to Microsoft’s PC services, it definitely is.

You’ll see actual “Play” buttons like this in the Xbox app, unlike the Microsoft Store’s endless error messages.

Games downloaded via Windows 10’s Microsoft Store app have been notoriously buggy for years now, running rampant with authentication errors and aborted downloads that require a full reinstall. It’s bad enough that I’ve sworn off buying Microsoft Store Games after blowing through my data cap trying to get Gears 4 installed. I spent $60 on Forza Horizon 3 only to spend hours suffering through errors.

Xbox Game Pass for PC skips the Microsoft Store. Instead, you download games via the Xbox app. I’ve never once encountered an issue installing or playing a Game Pass game. They just work—unlike the Microsoft Store. I don’t know why the Xbox app works so well while the Microsoft Store consistently works so poorly with big games, but I know that it does. If it weren’t for Xbox Game Pass for PC, I’d never be able to play Forza Horizon 4 or Gears Tactics (though Microsoft now plans on publishing some first-party games on Steam as well). 

Bottom line: Try it out

Even if you typically only pay for games you actually own, consider giving Xbox Game Pass for PC a shot. At just $10 a month, it’s less than the cost of a pizza. Even after months of subscribing I’ve barely scratched the depths of the service. Between Xbox Game Pass for PC, the Epic Game Store’s weekly freebies, and perhaps the odd Humble Bundle, you can unlock a virtually endless amount of gaming goodness for the cost of a single new triple-A game. Affordable games are a big part of what makes PC gaming so great compared to consoles, and Xbox Game Pass for PC holds firm in that tradition despite its console namesake.

And no, you don’t have to pay for multiplayer.

Give it a shot. Microsoft will even let you try Xbox Game Pass for PC for just $1 for the first monthRemove non-product link. I did after months of hesitance and fell deeply in love. Maybe you will too?

Editor’s note: This article originally published on July 3, 2020, but was updated to include Microsoft’s new $10 price after the beta ended and EA Play games coming to the service.

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Microsoft Lists Full Xbox Series X/S Launch Catalog

In less than four weeks, retailers will start selling the long-anticipated next-gen consoles from Microsoft. The Xbox Series X and Series S promise eager Xbox fans a chance to play old games with enhanced graphics thanks to an extensive backward compatibility regime, but let’s not forget that the new Xboxes will also be getting a bunch of new titles that will take full advantage of next-gen technology.

Microsoft just released their full list of 30 games that will be optimized to play on the Xbox Series X/S. This includes older games that have been enhanced to display at 4k resolution and 60fps, as well as ray-tracing compatibility and near-instant loading times. Some of these games even feature Microsoft’s new Smart Delivery so that if you already own the game on Xbox One you’ll get a free upgrade when you move to the Xbox Series X/S.

Here’s the full Xbox Series X/S catalog that will be available at launch on November 10:

  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (Smart Delivery)
  • Borderlands 3 (Smart Delivery)
  • Bright Memory 1.0
  • Cuisine Royale (Smart Delivery)
  • Dead by Daylight (Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery)
  • Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition
  • DIRT 5 (Smart Delivery)
  • Enlisted
  • Evergate
  • The Falconeer (Smart Delivery)
  • Fortnite
  • Forza Horizon 4 (Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery)
  • Gears 5 (Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery)
  • Gears Tactics (Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery)
  • Grounded (Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery)
  • King Oddball (Smart Delivery)
  • Maneater (Smart Delivery)
  • Manifold Garden (Smart Delivery)
  • NBA 2K21
  • Observer: System Redux
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery)
  • Planet Coaster (Smart Delivery)
  • Sea of Thieves (Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery)
  • Tetris Effect: Connected (Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery)
  • The Touryst (Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery)
  • War Thunder (Smart Delivery)
  • Warhammer: Chaosbane Slayer Edition
  • Watch Dogs: Legion (Smart Delivery)
  • WRC 9 FIA World Rally Championship (Smart Delivery)
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon (Smart Delivery)
  • Yes, Your Grace (Smart Delivery)

The new Xbox launch is sort of in a weird spot. There are definitely a lot of titles here that are straddling the divide between next-gen and current-gen consoles as developers focus on making games for two console generations at once rather than just one. It’ll likely be a year or so before we truly get the full measure of what the powerful hardware in the Xbox Series X can do when a fully next-gen game like Halo Infinite arrives.

Xbox Series X/S arrives on November 10.

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